ScHoolboy Q might have skipped years in the independent grind by joining Kendrick Lamar at Top Dawg Entertainment early in his career, but in today’s digital society, it’s very important that any release be taken seriously. You never know who’s watching. When ScHoolboy Q stopped in Atlanta for MixShowLive, rolling out had a moment to chat with Q about his message, he opened up about his upcoming major debut album, Oxymoron.
I’m on my major debut. I’m treating this like it’s my third album. But I’m still giving you that first album feel. … I’ve done so much on the indie level, now it’s time for me to play with the big boys, and see where I can go from there.
Though many online sources credit your earlier works as mixtapes, you consider them albums. What’s the difference between mixtapes and albums? Why no mixtapes?
Mixtapes are less effort. Mixtapes are usually the songs that aren’t good enough to make the album; I’m not into putting out songs that [are] not good enough to make the album. That means the mixtape is OK.
I’m into the old ways like with Nas, Jay-Z, and Pac. They didn’t have mixtapes. They put all their time in their work. However long to took for them to put the album out, that’s when they did it. They weren’t trying to hold fans over. Good music is going to last forever, so if you put all that time that you’re wasting on your mixtape, your album probably could have been classic.
Being compared to Kendrick Lamar, it’s no surprise that you’re getting a lot of attention. For those who don’t know ScHoolboy Q, what is your message?
Keep it G. Life is an oxymoron. You don’t know where you’re going, you don’t now how you got here, you just have to live and keep it moving. Don’t dwell on anything. Even with music, you just have to believe. If you believe that you’re going to make it, then you’re going to make it. We — Kendrick, Ab-Soul, Jay Rock — always knew we were going to be here.